Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 28-June 3 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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43 comments:

  1. On the young-old debate at USAT -- in the early days of the site, it had very little interaction with the newspaper, to the detriment of both. Each organization thought it knew everything. At the site, that was true for the 40- and 50-something managers as well as the "kids."

    The situation has improved a lot since then. It's been a while since I've heard anyone suggest the convergence is good because the kids could get him coffee. (Yep - actually happened. That person was let go about six weeks ago.)

    A lot of "dotcom" people have had to earn respect from the print folks, and that's OK. Many have, some haven't. It could be worse -- at The Washington Post, they stick their wet-behind-the-ears kids in Fairfax County, where they treat a county of a million people and enormous financial/tech clout as a backwater because they think they should be on the White House beat already. And their stories stink to high heaven.

    There have been a couple of questionable promotions. (Of course, one of those folks married one of the old guard, so it's hard to say which way the ageism was working in that case.) But for the most part, the actual hiring of younger folks has been sound.

    And that's tough because USAT really isn't like other papers. Anecdotal leads that impressed people at your old paper? Lose 'em. Sourcing policy? Yeah, we have our own. A lot of the old guard was really, really good at producing USA TODAY -- and the unique skills involved may not translate elsewhere. That's one of the tragedies of the layoffs.

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  2. I'm one of the young one's who was laid off a month ago from USA Today for no good reason. Well, one month later and I just received a job offer which I'm super excited about! So thank you Gannet for the severence, and an early escape from you before you could make me disgruntled and unhappy. Biggest favor you could of done!

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  3. I mean absolutely no offense to anyone by this, but it seems like the focus of this blog has shifted lately to USA Today only. There are a lot of people who are interested in news outside of USA Today. Just saying.

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    1. I fully agree!!

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  4. 9:44, I assume you weren't a writer, judging by the poor quality of your post. You even misspelled Gannett.

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  5. 10:09 Gotta love the grammar Nazis

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  6. 10:09 http://www.stuffistumbledupon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Willy-Wonka-Meme-Oh-You-corrected-someones-grammar-How-productive-of-you.jpg

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  7. The name of the company isn't really "grammar," though.

    But you guys keep trying. No wonder you have been unemployed since 2008 and will never work again! Must be something to hold up with honor!

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  8. http://streetfightmag.com/2012/05/24/is-azcentrals-big-leap-into-hyperlocal-a-model-for-other-newspapers/

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  9. 9:44 don't call me a grammar Nazi, I'm definitely not. But it's "could have done," not "could of done."

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  10. How about some non-USA today news ?
    Last week we read posts about under the radar layoffs at various sites.Is this still happening?
    Please post if you know of any.
    As for the grammar Nazis,when will he realize that people just start typing and get the post written as quickly as possible without proof reading or correcting.Geez is this so hard to understand!

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  11. Jim,
    Would it be possible to do a dedicated spot to how the newsgate projects have affected production people? I know a terrible number of news staff are being affected by this and Im sorry for all of you, but I am hearing of prepress functions being moved, layout functions etc.
    I would like a feel for what has happened to these people too.

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  12. 8:20, you make a good point. It's the same with "stories" these days, don't check anything, just get it up as quickly as possible, right or wrong. Grammar Nazis are really a LOT more than you think they are, and unfortunately, they've been squeezed out.

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  13. 10:09, 12:14, 8:18 - I admire your tenacity. If you demonstrate even a fraction of this earnestness in your job (assuming you do, in fact, have one) you will definitely go places. I hope you're fortunate enough to work in a meritocracy such as Gannett so your skills and dedication will be rewarded.

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  14. the other day when I was talking I was corrected for bad grammer or grammar. Maybe it was from my grammer. Don't remember. Butt I paid no attention too them. Just saying.

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  15. Pssst - Town hall meeting today at Pointroll. Looks like we're gonna need a new thread!

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  16. Revisiting the Cincinnati Enquirer's new social media accounts. Interesting to note that since yesterday they have removed a comment thread from their Facebook page from a woman who was having many issues getting in touch with their customer service group. She was pretty frustrated and the Enquirer's response was less than stellar.

    So much for transparency. I'm not surprised but it's still disappointing to see such a poor example of using social media for customer service.

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  17. Oy vey! Reading the E-newspaper this morning, I noticed that pages are coming up in a format with most of the punctuation missing. At first I thought the copy had not been edited properly, but then figured out it was some kind of bad conversion. I soon have to decide on whether to continue my subscription by agreeing to the pay wall price and this doesn't help.

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  18. re 10:22 AM:

    The newspaper has no need to offer transparency when dealing with a business matter with a customer. Most companies don't - it's mostly unproductive for both parties to keep it in a public forum.

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  19. 10:45 then don't offer a public forum for customer service in the first place.

    If you have an unsatisfied customer, it's better to show that you are responsive and willing to work with them to resolve the issue. On social media especially, a quick response, even if it's just to say sorry and offer a direct line to someone who can help, is much
    better than no response or, even worse, deleting comments that aren't all sunshine and roses.

    This is Customer Service 101.

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  20. We mourn the loss of one of our own ...

    http://www.cbssports.com/general/story/19196988/stanke-a-giant-in-journalism-a-friend-in-every-way-gone-too-soon

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  22. Word on the street is that the Daily Times in Salisbury, Md., is broke. When the paper folds (this year?), few will notice and fewer will care.

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  23. Subject: GPS Senior Management Change

    Brad Jones, senior vice president - distribution for Gannett Publishing Services, has decided to leave the company to pursue a new career opportunity. His last day will be next Friday, June 8th.

    Brad will be missed tremendously — his leadership, his personal style, his calm demeanor, the way he cared about people. He has been a significant contributor over the entire span of his 24 years with Gannett and USA TODAY.

    Brad joined USA TODAY in 1988. He began as the controller for the Carolina circulation market. In 1990, he was named business manager of USA TODAY’s national customer service center, then general manager of the Dallas circulation market in 1997. In 2000 Brad was named vice president - circulation and in 2010 was promoted to senior vice president - circulation.

    When Gannett Publishing Services was formed in September 2011 Brad was named senior vice president - distribution. During both the planning and execution phases Brad has been a creative and energetic leader of the USA TODAY and USCP circulation management consolidation. He has been instrumental in the successful merging of hundreds of management team members from both organizations. He successfully created a new national management team that is implementing a large number of strategic initiatives that are adding real value for the entire Gannett enterprise. He has truly been a transformational leader.

    Please join me in wishing Brad the very best as he embarks on this new professional adventure.

    Evan A. Ray
    President
    Gannett Publishing Services
    Gannett Co., Inc.
    7950 Jones Branch Drive
    McLean, VA 22107
    703.854.4440

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  24. See ya BRAD!!!! Jumping ship before the sinking of GPS! Man the water wings!!!

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  25. Jim the 2 words to type in to confirm no robot are hard to read could you [please change font. this one is no good!!!!!

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  26. 12:59 I wish I could, because I know it's sometimes very hard to read. But I have no control over the font used there.

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  27. Is there a feature that allows search within the comments on this or any site?

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  28. To Cincy complaint: What newspaper would allow its facebook pages or website to be a stomping ground for airing its dirty laundry on customer service. We need to take criticism of our reporting and content with an open blow, but there is nothing to say all delivery issues should be displayed prominently. It is important to listen and address the concern, but we wouldn't air a billing mistake on our forward-facing marketing and publication platforms - would we?

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  29. Wisconsin Gannett papers slow to react again. State's major newspaper websites (www.madison.com and jsonline.com) have story up about new Walker/Barrett poll numbers.
    Anything on the Gannett sites?
    Nope.
    What's the major story in this state? Walker/Barrett recall election.
    And Gannett Wisconsin wants to be a player. Ha!

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  30. 1:29 - again my response is, why provide an open platform under the guise of customer service if it's not open and if it's not helping customers? If all they want is a fluff presence that shows how great they are, then just have Carolyn Washburn write more of her gawdawful articles and save yourselves a FTE.

    Their social media staff needs to learn how to properly handle customer complaints if they are going to engage in this kind of venture. If they aren't willing to do that, then opening the accounts only to delete comments does nothing but make them look unprofessional.

    Few people are going to gush about how they love their hometown paper. It's not a passion topic for them. They will use the pages to complain because with most companies that value the people that help pay the bills, that's what gets results.

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  31. There's no story on the new poll (not really news - numbers haven't changed in two weeks) because too many Wisconsin journos are out signing petitions for the next recall when Barrett loses again.

    Or their second three-hour ethics refresher is going on now. Take your pick.

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  32. Look beyond the initial numbers. Barrett trailing Walker by 7 in a state Obama leads Romney by 8.
    And it gets people talking...and posting comments. Madison.com and jsonline.com comments section filling up nicely and it's all about the web hits, right? Or so we've been lectured.

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  33. 1:24 I can search comments. Unfortunately, my readers can't.

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  34. Side comment here. I don't think the stewards of Gannett value people, whether they're the ones who pay the bills or the ones who don't. There's no comprehension, let alone distinction. Ironically, though, the tippy top are the real widgets: they could destroy just about any company they ran.

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  35. Interesting to see Maryam Banikarim has gone uncharacteristically undercover since the arrival of Kramer. Is she on furlough? Vacation? Speaking engagements? Retired? Leaving to pursue other interests?

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  39. http://weldbham.com/secondfront/2012/05/29/no-news-is-bad-news-advance-shake-up-leaves-three-alabama-cities-without-daily-papers/

    This piece on the Newhouse moves, while targeted at Birmingham, offers a sad explainer on the state of the digital frontier.

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  40. 7:54,
    Banikarim is hunkered-down and focused on finally delivering something tangible for USAT. She knows the 30th anniversary is her last chance before people really see the lack of anything productive coming from marketing.

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  41. Building Facilities outsourced - probably a good business decision.

    Classic Gannett move - "good bye... but before you go, please give us a week of furlough!"

    Bad form... and then you wonder why this site is so popular.

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  42. mb is not hunkered down on anything unless it serves her need for attention. When its all said and done, she will ultimately be branded a failure who didnt understand print or digital marketing, who made no effort to understand Gannett's struggle in shifting the culture nor as someone who could judge talent.

    WITH HER HIRING, THIS COMPANY LOST AT LEAST A YEAR IN ITS TURNAROUND EFFORTS.

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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